Tax Credit Program Highlight: Bethlehem Lutheran Church

Round Top, Fayette County



Individually listed in the National Register of Historic Places; Recorded Texas Historic Landmark

Historic Use


Current Use


Total Rehabilitation Cost


Qualified Rehabilitation Expenses


Date Certified

July 2, 2019


Certified for state credits only.

Project Contact

ATC Contractors, Inc; Vincent’s Roofing/Economy Air; Huttons Painting Co.; Buschbeck Organ Builders


The Bethlehem Lutheran Church was the social and religious center for the German-Lutheran settlers of Round Top during the late 19th century. The Lutheran congregation was organized in 1855, but it wasn’t until Pastor Adam Neuthard arrived in 1861 that the community organized to build the church. Delayed by the Civil War, construction of the church began in the spring of 1866 and was completed that fall. The one-story, open-plan church was built from stuccoed ashlar sandstone and supported by stuccoed stone buttresses on the southwest wall, added in 1881. The choir loft houses a historic hand-made cedar pipe organ, built by Thomas Wantke and dedicated by the congregation in 1867.

Rehabilitation Project

The church was constructed near a geological fault, on a sloping hillside, necessitating the addition of the buttresses shortly after initial construction. The church’s thick masonry walls still move over time, requiring routine repointing and crack repair. Additional work was undertaken as part of large maintenance program, including repair of window frames, with new protective glazing installed on the outside of the stained glass. The building’s roof was replaced with new cedar shakes, and wood repairs were made to the bell tower. Since the attic space was fully exposed during the roof replacement, all HVAC equipment and ductwork were replaced. The sanctuary ceiling was fully repainted. Finally, the 1867 organ was fully cleaned, repaired, and tuned by an organ specialist.

Photo Gallery

Click on any image to view the photo gallery.

  • The church has large buttresses along one side, as the landscape slopes. These were an early addition to the building.